Alex Matlala
2 minute read
4 May 2020
7:00 am

Poor family of eight share shack with no electricity, water, as MEC asked to help

Alex Matlala

To add to their misery, the family is led by a disabled mother, who lives with her four children and three grandchildren, whose mother recently died.

Limpopo premier Stan Mathabatha, centre, with newly appointed MECs, Thandi Moraka, left, and Basikopo Makamu, July 2018. Picture supplied by Limpopo ANC

A Limpopo family of eight shares a dilapidated shack with no electricity and no water to wash their hands during lockdown because their RDP house was allegedly allocated to people with “political ties” to ANC officials.

To add to their misery, the family is led by a disabled mother, who lives with her four children and three grandchildren, whose mother recently died.

“We celebrated when a councillor visited us recently. He said officials from the department of human settlements would soon build us a house,” said Regina Ramonyai, with tears rolling down her face.

“The councillor even showed us my name on the list and told us that our years of overcrowding in this dilapidated shack would soon be a thing of the past. But we have been waiting.”

The distraught mother said she and her children use the shack as a kitchen for cooking, bathroom and bedroom. She said one of her sons is now 19 years old and that it was difficult to have privacy.

“Due to my disability, I am unable to fetch water, some 5km at a communal tap for my day-to-day household needs and to wash hands to fight the spread of coronavirus,” she said.

“Observing the social distance is also impossible here. We are scared we could easily contract the deadly virus because we are crammed in this house.”

Ramonyai said what was more concerning was that each time she asked the authorities about her house, they sent her from pillar to post.

Ramonyai pleaded with MEC for cooperative governance, human settlements and traditional affairs Basikopo Makamu for help.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), which raised the alarm about Ramonyai’s appalling living conditions, said it had written to Makamu, asking for his urgent intervention.

DA councillor in the Capricorn district municipality, Ngwako Setjie, said: “This proves that many of our people in Limpopo continue to live in appalling conditions due to the housing back-log created by the ANC. In many cases, the beneficiaries of RDP houses are left homeless while strangers take up their homes.

“Many people are still on the housing waiting list. Ironically, houses are built for family, friends and comrades who are connected to senior officials in various municipalities.”

Last week, a mother of seven children, four orphaned kids and six grandchildren received a new house build by Good Samaritans after Makamu’s plea for the family to get a roof over their heads. Makamu said housing was dignity and that by securing the indigent family a house, he helped them regain their dignity.

Makamu said the Ramonyai’s housing dilemma had received attention and his department would ensure that her plight was speedily attended to.

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